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HHS saves tax payers $4 billion in fraudulent healthcare claims

Posted On Mon, January 24, 2011
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that over $4 billion was recovered in fraudulent health insurance claims filed in 2010.

In a statement, Thomas Perrelli, the United States' associate attorney general, said, "Our aggressive pursuit of health care fraud has resulted in the largest recovery of taxpayer dollars in the history of the Justice Department. These actions are in large part because of the great work being led by the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team."

The enforcement team was developed in 2009 by the Obama administration in the hopes that its formation would lead to fewer people abusing the Medicaid and Medicare systems.

Fraudulent insurance claims in 2010 were primarily recovered through criminal charges, as 726 people were convicted of crimes related to health care fraud last year alone. Approximately 146 of the 726 convictions resulted in prison sentences.

Healthcare fraud is one of the primary factors behind the high cost of health insurance premiums. The National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association estimates $68 billion of the $2 trillion in annual healthcare spending is lost to healthcare fraud. 

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